The UK was the world’s fastest growing market in the world for Swiss watches in the crucial month of October.
October is traditionally the biggest month of the year for Swiss watchmakers’ exports as global retailers take delivery of their Christmas stock.
The UK was one of only a handful of markets that registered growth. A bleak report by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry showed a global drop in sales of 12.3% in October as imports to Hong Kong slumped by 38.5% over the same month in 2014.
Exports to the USA also dropped dramatically by 12.2%, while China was down 5.1%.
However, the UK is powering ahead with growth in October of 11.5%, greater than every other country in the top 30.
In the first 10 months of 2015, the UK has increased imports of Swiss watches by 19% to CHF 936.2 million.
To put that performance in context, China’s imports in the 10 months to October were worth CHF 1,108.7 million, just CHF 172 million ahead of the UK. On the current trajectory, the UK could feasibly end 2015 almost neck-and-neck with China.
“Just last year, China imported watches worth CHF 426 million more than the UK. In 2015, we will almost match them and go over one billion Swiss francs for the first time in history,” said Daniel Malins, publisher of WatchPro. “The rise and rise of the UK this year has been nothing short of extraordinary compared to the Asian markets that Swiss watchmakers obsessed last year,” he added.